Well, traditionally-while-it was released in cinemas, it was only with a 45-day exclusivity window, instead of the industry standard of 90 days. Disney boss Bob Chapek called the release an “interesting experiment,” something Simu Liu was not happy at all.
But in a world increasingly accustomed to seeing simultaneous digital releases over the past year, Chapek was right in that release. Shang-Chi alone in the cinemas was an experiment of sorts.
It’s not that Disney was the only one to do this (F9 in the A quiet place Part II, among other things, were both exclusive releases), but Disney began to favor a simultaneous Disney + Premier Access release. They have it with the likes of Cruella in the Jungle Cruise, like this Shang-Chi was a way to see how a difference a movie can only make in theaters.
So now that Shang-Chi was out for two weeks, did the new strategy prove a hit in the box? Let’s dig into the numbers to find out.
The early signs are certainly promising for Shang-Chi since it took almost $ 260 million worldwide, with $ 147 million from the US box. His second weekend take of $ 34.1 million in the US is the best result since Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker in 2019.
Where other blockbusters like Black widow in the F9 hu gehat steep second weekend drops, Shang-ChiThe 54% decline is comparable to what would have happened in ‘normal’ times for a big blockbuster.
Without notable competition (in the US) to Venom: Let There Be Carnage on October 1, the film is set to become the first $ 200 million gross in the US since Bad boy for life Hit that mark in March 2020. Overseas, Shang-Chi will have to compete with No time to die too, but it should still happen conveniently Black widow ($ 373 million so far).
Disney were confident enough in the performance of the film to confirm exclusive cinema runs for the rest of its 2021 slate, even before the second weekend of publication. That means Eternal, The king’s husband in the West Side Story will not be available on Disney + (or any other digital platform) at least 45 days after its cinema release.
We speculated that Shang-Chi‘s box office performance could be a key factor in this, but the speed of the decision would probably have surprised the industry. After all, we still watch great movies like Top Gun: Maverick printed back to 2022.
It might not have just been Shang-Chi that Disney convinced that exclusive runes were worth it.
Free Guy also had an excellent run, holding good week on week to gross $ 102 million in the US box and $ 277 million worldwide. Like the Marvel movie, he got a 45-day exclusive cinema run and proved to be a big enough hit for Disney to confirm a continuation.
Both Jungle Cruise in the Cruella got sequels after their simultaneous Disney + release, so clearly they did not disappoint Disney either. In the box office, however, their global ranges of $ 197 million and $ 222 million, respectively, may not be as large as they would have been if cinemas were the only way to see them.
It’s no coincidence that it was the biggest Hollywood hit of the year F9 with $ 714 million worldwide, according to its exclusive cinema release. His $ 204 million China box office bounty certainly helped in that regard, but his strong performance underscored that there is still a desire for people to see the latest movies on the big screen.
Disney likes to release those Cruella in the Black widow at Disney + for an extra cost, the movies generally did not hurt. However, it could be said that they have affected their chances of enjoying a long box office run when the option is there to watch it at home.
It will be important to remember the context of the marketplace that Shang-Chi was released when all the dust had settled.
No matter how the rest of its run goes, it will still end up in the lowest-grossing Marvel movies worldwide. The film could reach Thor’s $ 449 million result and has an external reach to reach Ant-Manis $ 519 million, though potential shortage of China release could hurt Shang-Chiof chance.
It will possibly be at the end of the 20th Black widow. So in the cold light of day, Shang-Chi seems to seem a bit of a flop in Marvel terms after we get used to it with normal $ 1 billion hits for the MCU. (Well, outside of Ant-Man Series, sorry Paul Rudd.)
But it will be a while (possibly) before we see another billion dollars at the box office, so the level of what makes a hit has changed. For an untested character in a movie that largely avoids wider MCU connections, a result of potentially $ 500 million is absolutely a win for Shang-Chi.
And even if it does not reach that number, Shang-Chi can take comfort in knowing that it has led to a change in Disney’s publishing strategy in one of the most uncertain times in cinema history.
Shang-Chi and the legend of the Ten Rings is now in theaters.
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